O: Obviously, every man was once a boy and every boy will become a man – the earlier boys start learning about man stuff, the better. Our brothers, sons & nephews all benefit from knowing this ‘stuff’ all their lives, not stumbling across it or learning by trial and error.
P: Boys and men have hormones too… so it’s not a stretch to say that when boys approach adolescence and ‘have the talk’, they learn about girls. Heterosexual boys can and should grow up with an innate understanding of their own hormones, and empathy with their female partners’ periods and cycles, breast care and hormonal health. When it comes to Procreation, fertility, ED, sexual health and the issues that can affect men hormonally, understanding ourselves AND each other allows open communication channels and quicker routes to healing.
E: Early Detection saves men’s lives also. Lumps, bumps, warts, bruises and strange marks that weren’t there yesterday need to be looked at sooner rather than later. I heard a woman say ‘men are not as in tune with their bodies as women’, & maybe it’s true… skin cancer, throat cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer – men are as vulnerable as women. But we don’t hear about self-exams for testicles, or blue ribbons for men’s cancer issues. Why? Is it because men themselves don’t open up?
N: Boys (especially) and men are much more open about burping, farting, pooping and peeing than women (in general). Of course, all these bodily functions are completely normal, and even though we may have been programmed from a young age to ‘keep them private’ or pretend they don’t happen, everyone’s poop smells… BUT (‘scuse the pun) while all bodily functions have some odour, dear men and boys, if your natural bodily functions have a Noxious, knock-you-out fetid stench, something is wrong!!! Morning breath is one thing – dragon breath is another whole thing! If no-one can go into the bathroom after you, or if the smell of your sweat doesn’t wash out of your sports or gym clothes, something is Not Right men! Bearing in mind that Early Detection Saves Lives, simply buying your 16 year old a stronger deodorant, or making your partner take 2 showers a day is possibly allowing a pattern of dis-ease to take hold, instead of an early intervention setting him on a healthier trajectory.
U: Man-Caves are up there with breakthroughs for men. Health Coaches talk to all clients about self-care, and it’s a concept that boys and men don’t easily apply to themselves. A man-cave is radical and disruptive self-care for men and we love it! Every man should have one and be encouraged to spend time in it.
P: Men have feelings too you know… And why, oh why! are they not encouraged to name them, feel them and talk about them? It’s still true that small boys are often taught not to cry. Boys are casually encouraged to Pursue physical strength, to Physically fight back, to get involved with rough sports and ‘be a man about it’. Yet the number of eating disorders, cutting, young suicides and other mental health issues experienced by boys and men, are so rarely talked openly about and show that boys, teens & men of all ages would benefit from having someone to talk to about feelings and emotions.